Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016

AIIB gets another vote of confidence as Canada applies to join

(Xinhua)    20:09, August 31, 2016

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau attends a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 31, 2016. Canada has decided to apply for the membership of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Bill Morneau told the press conference on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)

BEIJING, Aug. 31 -- Canada announced Wednesday that it had decided to apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a sign of growing international confidence in the China-initiated multilateral bank.

If Canada joins the AIIB, it will be the first North American member of the bank, which already has 57 founding members including Australia and the United Kingdom.

Participation in the AIIB is "clearly Canada's best choice," Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau told a press conference in Beijing, saying that the bank represents the renewed approach of multilateralism, for which Canada "couldn't be more supportive."

"Canada is always looking for ways to create hope and opportunity for our middle class as well as for people around the world, and membership in the AIIB is an opportunity to do just that," Morneau said.

AIIB president Jin Liqun said Canada's membership will contribute significantly to the bank's development, noting that all countries interested in the AIIB were welcome to apply for membership.

"The decision of Canada to apply to join AIIB is very welcome and shows its confidence in the strong foundations the bank has built in our first few months," Jin told reporters.

There are now more than 20 countries waiting to join the AIIB and the door is wide open, he said.

The AIIB said that formal expressions of interest from potential new members would be welcomed before Sept. 30, 2016, and it looked forward to to welcoming the first of these new members early in 2017.

The AIIB, a not-for-profit bank initiated by China, was officially established last December and started operating in January.

With authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, it prioritizes investment in energy, power, transport, rural infrastructure, environmental protection and logistics.

In June, the bank approved its first four loans, totalling 509 million dollars, to fund power, housing and transport projects in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistanand Tajikistan.

Canada's move shows the international community's deepening understanding of and strengthening confidence in the AIIB, said Huang Wei, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"More and more countries are optimistic about the bank's future," she said.

With a healthy financial market, Canada can bring its rich experience in financial management and governance to the AIIB, while membership in the bank will benefit the country's own infrastructure and help it expand international influence, according to Huang.

For Canada, helping fund high-quality infrastructure in Asia will contribute to global economic growth and help Canadian companies explore new commercial opportunities, Morneau said.

China is now Canada's second largest trading partner. Trade between the two countries was over 67 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, a 10.1 percent increase year on year, according to Canadian statistics.

At Friday's press conference, Jin said the AIIB will operate in line with international standards, have zero tolerance over corruption and be vigilant about possible redundant positions.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Kong Defang,Bianji)

Add your comment

Related reading

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words